Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Sushi Shiki Hanamaru @ Hokkaido Marche, Orchard Central

A new sushi shop (#B2-11/29/44/48 Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, tel : +65 6634 0211) has opened up at Hokkaido Marche - the latter a Japanese food court by Don Don Donki if you didn't already know. It's a better class of entry level of sushi-ya which was unique in its own way. Make no mistake about the food. It's not Nogawa or possibly their apprentices that have graduated into sushi making. It's also not in the same leagues some of the better joints run by local chefs. Sushi toppings are prepared in advance and refrigerated in drawers. Not sliced upon order. Sitting at the counter tells much.

Service was good.

But the food was definitely better than most of the mass market sushi places. Variety is wider and more interesting as well.

It's kinda troublesome to go through each item. That's almost like documenting a buffet so I'll just settle for some short notes.

I didn't think much of the chuturo. It's okay but we've had better. But we had better where we paid more. Speaking of which, the fishes here are a little too chilled. Flavour is muted from the temperature.

Shari was not well pressed. Some of the pieces were falling apart as I picked them up to dip in the shoyu. The vinegar was so light that I wasn't sure if there was vinegar as well. All orders come with wasabi or not as you indicate on the order chit. It's not if the chef thinks the fish requires them.

toro nishin
The hakkaku (sailfin poacher) and toro nishin were nice. Flavourful from the fattiness I guess. What also happened was when we asked for the omission of grated ginger, the spring onions were also left out. Hmmm.....

botan ebi
There was no frying of the head of the head/tail of their botan ebi negiri. Maybe we should have asked but I thought they might have offered. Speaking of the botan ebi, it was not bad. Definitely had better though. Guess all those heads went to waste.

The sushi makers behind the counter aren't very conversant with English so the servers double as translators.

taraba fundoshi
Some of the uncommon offerings include the taraba fundoshi. I think the menu translated those as crab loin. I'm not sure exactly which parts of the crab are those but it was a little cold and not as sweet as I had hoped. Sardine was nice though. 

ajiwai tarako
Ajiwai tarako is salted pollack roe. Kinda like mentaiko minus the spiciness. So salty fish eggs.

shoyu marinated sujiko
There's shoyu marinated sujiko. I think they are salmon eggs. They come in clustered lumps and the flavour is akin to extra salty ikura. I don't mind them though.

The hotate is likewise better less chilled. Maybe I'll have that aburi the next time. That's bound to coax out flavours.

dashimaki tamago
Even though prices are listed for most of the items on the menu, they eventually charged by counting the coloured plates that they used. The items that weren't charged by coloured plates and had to be ordered through the servers are the non-sushi stuff. Like the dashimaki tamago which was served piping hot. 

tempura wagasaki
Their tempura wagasaki (smelt) was nice. I'd eat these again.

tempura maitake
While not the best in class for tempura, what we had was pretty good. The ingredients were freshly fried and not excessively battered.

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